Sheffield Spartans are on a mission this weekend in that they have a point to prove and they are in a determined frame of mind to do so against Telford Tigers on Saturday at Ice Sheffield (1.30pm)
Prior to last weekend’s heavy defeat against Blackburn Hawks, Spartans had lost one in six games which included a 3-3 draw in Telford. With no disrespect to Tigers, Spartans were disappointed not to turn their advantages over their rivals into goals to go on and win the game but had to settle for a share of the spoils. They have the opportunity to put the record straight this weekend but in the knowledge that Tigers are dangerous opponents, as many have found to their peril, with Telford mounting a serious play off challenge as we turn into 2016.
Spartans will need to shrug off last weekend’s hugely disappointing 15-2 loss to table topping Blackburn Hawks last Saturday. The score doesn’t tell the full story but by no means does it account for what was a hockey lesson from the Hawks to inflict upon us one of our heaviest ever defeats. A catalogue of errors gifted a two goal lead to Hawks but there was very little between the teams but a late well worked third goal gave them a three goal cushion. As the second period unfolded the game gradually slipped out of Spartans reach to see Hawks well on top, deservedly so, by posting five unanswered goals to make it 8-0. It wasn’t for the will of trying though, but Spartans simply couldn’t make the most of their chances. When they did, an impressive Stuart Ashton in goal for Hawks made the saves to ensure Hawks always had the upper hand. Going forward Blackburn were relentless and always looked dangerous and took full advantage of our defensive lapses, having valid argument to question why they hadn’t scored more. The start of the third saw Spartans worst spell of the game as Hawks ran riot to post another four goals to make it 12-0 but credit to Spartans they dug in to pull one back through Ollie Barron who showed great individual skill to score past Ashton. Hawks reply was swift with Spartans only response being when Nick Manning popped one in after some nice build up play and even though we weren’t at the races this period we continued to make chances but our defensive frailties cost us as Hawks ran out 15-2 winners with an impressive home debut from Liam Kirk earning him the man of the match award.
There was however, positives to be had from the game as well as lessons that need to be learned that need to be brought into our game if we are to get our form back to anything like it was last season that saw us make the end of season playoff in Solway. With the finale being held at Sheffield this season, it’s something Spartans would relish but we looked anything like play off material last weekend. We know that, we also know that it is in our hands and with a good solid training session behind us the club is looking forward to an intriguing battle with Telford this Saturday. In our last two games we have created some great opportunities to score, which is a good thing. It would be far more concerning & worrying if we weren’t making the chances but we need to be converting them into goals which will be our target this Saturday…please note that the face off for this game is 1.30pm #allspartans